Batch 3

I AM A TEACHER is not just any line we speak, the moment we speak this line we really mean something which has an emanace pride, joy and full of responsibility. IAAT is a place which offers a life changing experience and makes you realize what it means to be a teacher. This program will help you to realize its true meaning, to find that joy, pride  and  huge  responsibility  in  teacher’s  role.  Once  you  are  done,  you  are  never going to be the same person that you used to be. For this experience, actually you need not to complete the program, you can feel it in between.

After spending two weeks at IAAT and seeing the program details and functioning, I would say if the MA Education program which is of two year of azim premji university is compressed into one year then it will become very similar to this program. All the foundational  courses  are  same  except  mindful  personal  leadership  subject.  I  also experienced  that  not  only  the  program  course,  in  terms  of  culture  and  diversity, classroom  environment  and  faculty’s  nature  is  also  very  similar  to  my  university.  I want  to  congratulate  the  leader  of  the  institute  for  this  innovative  initiative  which effectively  working  and  delivering  what  they  have  promised.  The  leadership  and management  team  is  doing  great  job.  The  whole  setup  seems  to  be  working  under collegial model of leadership ensuring everyone’s participation through shared values to achieve the shared vision that institute have.

I  also  get  the  sense  that  this  program  is  working  towards  the  development  of instructional leadership targeting students through teachers and hence investing huge effort   on   the   core   activities   of   the   organization.   The   self   reflection   practice, conferencing-mentoring  program  and  beautifully  blended  intensive  theory-practice which is demonstrative in nature are ensuring the professional development of student teacher which is again a key feature of instructional leadership. This is what we really need right now to address the challenges of our school.

Among  the  courses  that  are  offered,  I  liked  the  most  is  course  “mindful  personal leadership”  which  focuses  on  exploring  of  self  and  then  slowly  moves  to  leadership quality that a teacher should have, afterall teacher is first leader in a classroom. It is also important because these things are very essential for every person to know and in case of teacher it becomes necessity. As a teacher, consciously and unconsciously we do many things which student often try to follow and get influence easily, inside and outside the classroom. Then as a teacher it becomes extremely important that we should be very mindful about our own thoughts, action, behavior, gesture and even words that we chose to speak and it is not possible until we know ourselves properly. We   should   enquire   ourself   deeply   and   necessarily   know   what   is   all   which   is constituting  ourselves.  Then  only  we  can  be  mindful  and  able  to  make  conscious choices as teacher. These things should be addressed in every teacher program but only a handful program pay serious attention, rest even not bother to think about it. This  program  also  offers  all  subject  pedagogy  under  method  course  which  again doesn’t happen everywhere. This gives a wider opportunity to the scholar to go for any subject  teaching  as  per  their  interest  .  It  is  good  if  teacher  going  to  single  teacher school  where  strength  is  low.  Beside  this  it  helps  the  scholar  to  understand  child  in their  elementary  school  that  what  they  are  doing  in  all  subject  and  where  they  are facing  a  problem,  and  as  a  parent  a  lot  of  course.  Then  program  integrated  with enriching module activities which is adding value by filling the gaps that might be left from  the  main  courses.  The  way  program  course  is  structured  and  arranged  is remarkable making a good balance between theory and practice. I have seen in some institute that theory and practicum classes are treated very different to each other and practiced alternatively or separately. So, I would say it’s possibly an ideal combination of theory and practice.

One  of  the  concern  regarding  program  is  about  syllabus  under  these  courses.  From title of the course I was wondering how much this programming is doing justice with this huge  content  against  this  short  period.  Through  conversation  I  come  to  know  the content  selection  process  which  ensures  me  about  this.  I  was  having  this  concern because all subjects (which I also have in my program) are in very good connection to each other and sometime it’s very hard to understand one without the other.

The second thing I came across is time constraints. I think all the student are having this  concern  and  all  of  you  also  are  well  aware  of  this.  This  thing  is  putting  little limitation on learning as it is not letting them explore the other thing related to the content. So, if scholar will have leisure time in between the course then possibly they can go on exploring further what they have learned in the classroom, but this flexibility was not visible and it gives me a sense of very packed program. Going further if I have to  say  then  I  would  suggest  that  doing  independent  study  is  also  very  essential characteristics of a teacher and it may need mutual discussion among student-faculty together to explore the possibilities of doing this.

The other thing that stuck me the most is your mentoring and GRR system of practice. The way it has been structured and monitored is really examplory for all the institution out  there  in  the  teacher  professional  development  program.  I  would  suggest  every single institute if they can implement this structure without any improvisation. I would also like to mention that this is where we are lacking when we talk about our teacher curriculum implementation. The other pre-service professional development program like B.Ed and D.El.Ed. have this good curriculum and syllabus, well qualified faculty, student-learner, resources but still these program never happens the way it should be. A good leadership and management of program, field practice school, attitude of the regular teacher of field schools and trainee teachers are some crucial factor which I think  playing  role  in  ineffective  implementation  and  practice  of  the  program.  It  has become a formality to have a degree to be eligible for teaching, although exception can be seen everywhere.

The  collaborating  teacher  and  mentor’s  feedback  during  pre  and  post  conference, guides the resident teacher and add quality value in their understanding of student, classroom  and teaching practices.  All  the faculty  are  really  putting their huge  effort into  this  practice.  The  concern  here  I  have  is  that  it  happens  that  students  take resident teachers for granted sometime, then how this relationship is being nurtured and ensured that everything goes well, is something to be pondered upon.

This  institute  has  the  advantage  of  attached  school  which  has  enriched  resourceful classrooms  and  well  qualified  teachers  acting  as  CT  but  it  often  turns  out  to  be  a challenge for the others institute like B.Ed program institute. All the resident teachers are doing great work in their LTW, at least that I observed. But again it also makes me think if they can perform exactly the same way as here if they are placed in a rural government school or a normal government school in urban which are conventional in nature  and  has  scarcity  of  resources  like  a  primary  school  of  a  village.  So,  I  was wondering, are student-teacher being prepared enough for all kinds of schools or any particular setting.

The classroom environment and culture is really great. It reminds me the culture of an African tribe “UBUNTU– I am because we are”. There is no competition among scholars instead  there  is  support,  cooperation  and  encouragement  for  each  other.  They appreciate  each  other  for  their  similarity  and  difference  which  they  carry  and  the bonding between peers is really very promising.

The   other   thing   which   attracts   my   attention   was   the   program   fees   and   the demography  coming  here.  If  I  see  the  fees  as  a  very  common  (lower  economic) student I do not find it favorable although I know it is the lowest possible fees being charged against the experience it delivered. But I think it affects the demography as people are more likely to compare with fees of B.Ed program at government institute and recognized degree at the end of the program.

Second, not being government recognized certificate diploma it might filter out a large number of people and bring only a quality and interested people who are looking for something different from conventional and have a learning spirit by letting previous things go.

For now the institute is running at small scale and it make difference but will it work at large scale as well exactly the same way. In this regard, sustainability of this practice is a concern.

Your partners and participants are adding more value to the program. ‘JODO GYAN’ is making  things  very  simple  and  one  of  the  key  feature  of  method  course  which  is changing  perspectives  of  the  student-teacher.  All  of  them  are  really  big  fan  of  the pedagogy practices and TLMs that they used during the lectures. While interacting I also came to know that they frequently use TLMs made by JODO GYAN. I want to meet the guest faculty and discuss regarding their pedagogy and TLMs they have used here. This kind of work is very limited specially in mathematics subject. Again, It also makes me think that excess dependability on a particular tool material might not be a good thing,  so  are  student-teacher  aware  of  alternatives  as  well  is  what  I  would  like  to explore more ?

Seeing this program as it is, within certain boundary seems to be the best option with no  alternatives  in  a  teaching-learning  space  at  least  for  me.  It  equips  scholar  with everything  that  they  need  to  know  and  should  have  as  a  professional  teacher.  It  is offering  one  of  the  good  practice  that  India  till  date  have  in  Pre-service  teacher professional development.

I hereby convey my best wishes to each and every member of the program for their upcoming challenges and opportunity. May this institute blossoms day by day and act as major source to fulfill the needs of our education system.

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